West Vancouver venture capitalist Charlie Flynn is ... - Deep Capture

West Vancouver venture capitalist Charlie Flynn is ... - Deep Capture

West Vancouver venture capitalist Charlie Flynn is ... - Deep Capture


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'We were almost murdered' by mobsters<br />

<strong>West</strong> <strong>Vancouver</strong> <strong>venture</strong> <strong>capital<strong>is</strong>t</strong> <strong>Charlie</strong> <strong>Flynn</strong> <strong>is</strong> used to<br />

high- flying deals, but th<strong>is</strong> one nearly sank him to the bottom<br />

of the sea.<br />

By The <strong>Vancouver</strong> Province November 5, 2007 Be the first to post a comment<br />

Story<br />

Photos ( 1 )<br />

<strong>West</strong> <strong>Vancouver</strong> <strong>venture</strong> <strong>capital<strong>is</strong>t</strong> <strong>Charlie</strong> <strong>Flynn</strong> <strong>is</strong> used to high- flying deals, but th<strong>is</strong> one nearly<br />

sank him to the bottom of the sea.

The globe-trotting <strong>Flynn</strong>, 55, says he had to fight for h<strong>is</strong> life when Russian mobsters attacked<br />

him earlier th<strong>is</strong> year on a luxury sailboat docked in Thailand. And that was after he and h<strong>is</strong> wife<br />

narrowly m<strong>is</strong>sed being tortured in a Thai resort town.<br />

Now, at h<strong>is</strong> house on the <strong>West</strong> <strong>Vancouver</strong> waterfront, <strong>Flynn</strong>'s wife, L<strong>is</strong>a Cain, still jumps at<br />

every sudden sound, and <strong>Flynn</strong> <strong>is</strong> watching closely as the FBI, CIA and U.S. State Department<br />

unravel a series of alleged crimes involving fake passports, extortion and homicide.<br />

"We were almost murdered," <strong>Flynn</strong> said yesterday. "These guys play for keeps. I call them<br />

international men of mystery. They have three names, four different credit cards. They have<br />

homes in Thailand and Moscow and Salt Lake City and Vegas." The dramatic events that swept<br />

up <strong>Flynn</strong> are detailed in an FBI affidavit and a U.S. federal court indictment concerning Egor<br />

Michailovich Chernov, a Russian immigrant living in Utah. In the affidavit, <strong>Flynn</strong> <strong>is</strong> described as<br />

Co-operating Witness No. 2, or CW-2.<br />

<strong>Flynn</strong> first met Chernov in 1999 in Las Vegas. The bear-like Russian, 32, was introduced as the<br />

son of Russia's chief supreme court justice.<br />

A vodka-soaked night in Vegas led to sporadic contact over the next few years, until <strong>Flynn</strong> flew<br />

to Thailand in 2004 to meet again with Chernov to d<strong>is</strong>cuss buying a villa.<br />

He was told that former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and a cousin of Princess Diana were<br />

buying villas in the same Thai complex.<br />

At the time, Chernov was with New York motivational speaker Rex Judd. <strong>Flynn</strong> says the pair<br />

wanted him to invest in an artificial skin product developed in Russia.<br />

"I agreed that I would do something," <strong>Flynn</strong> said. "It looked interesting." Then Chernov began to<br />

pressure him to wire $250,000 to an account in Cyprus, while Judd confided that he'd invested<br />

$3.5 million with Chernov and was trying to get some of it back, <strong>Flynn</strong> said.<br />

<strong>Flynn</strong> remembers the people who move around Chernov as being right out of a James Bond<br />

movie.<br />

There was a man Chernov called a hired killer whose appearance, <strong>Flynn</strong> said, was "scary, very<br />

cold, cold as ice. He's got one eye that's straight, one that goes to the side." There was a second<br />

purported hitman, a Russian, plus a massive thug with a shaved head.<br />

As for Judd, he went m<strong>is</strong>sing and <strong>is</strong> presumed dead, killed -- <strong>Flynn</strong> believes -- because he<br />

wanted h<strong>is</strong> money back.<br />

<strong>Flynn</strong> said Chernov and h<strong>is</strong> associates began upping the stakes, asking him to transfer $30<br />

million in stock holdings to a Florida man.<br />

"They [were] going to give me a chance to get an oil lease in Russia," he said.

Last March, in Thailand, <strong>Flynn</strong> found himself in the back seat of a car between the shavenheaded<br />

goon and another Russian. Chernov was at the wheel.<br />

<strong>Flynn</strong> said the group ended up on the sailboat, <strong>Flynn</strong> protesting that he had to leave to meet h<strong>is</strong><br />

wife for dinner. When he reached for h<strong>is</strong> cellphone, he was shot in the back with a Taser, he said.<br />

In the melee that followed, <strong>Flynn</strong> received a blow to the head but was able to leap on to the dock<br />

to make h<strong>is</strong> escape.<br />

Chernov <strong>is</strong> now in a Utah jail awaiting trial on two counts of conspiracy to produce false<br />

passports and identification. An FBI affidavit says the passport case <strong>is</strong> "inextricably intertwined"<br />

with the alleged murder of Judd.<br />

A man described as "co-conspirator 7" (CC-7) in the FBI affidavit told an FBI agent that he was<br />

in Thailand in 2005 and heard Chernov tell two men to kill "CC-1," whom <strong>Flynn</strong> identified as<br />

Judd.<br />

CC-7, who referred to Chernov as "the Russian maggot," said he helped get rid of evidence of<br />

the murder, and he provided the FBI with a ring and cufflinks he said belonged to the victim.<br />

When an FBI agent showed a photo of the ring to Judd's wife, she began to cry and said it was<br />

her husband's wedding band, the affidavit says.<br />

Chernov had a falling-out with h<strong>is</strong> associate, Paul Combs, <strong>Flynn</strong> said. Combs, who also went by<br />

the names Aleksandar Stan<strong>is</strong>lavov Karanikolov and Michael Woods, <strong>is</strong> now facing a charge for<br />

allegedly attempting to extort "cash or substitute real property" from a person identified on<br />

Combs' federal-court indictment as "E.C." Since the falling-out, <strong>Flynn</strong> has heard from a Chernov<br />

associate that <strong>Flynn</strong> and h<strong>is</strong> wife, on an earlier trip to Thailand, narrowly m<strong>is</strong>sed ending up in a<br />

"torture home" prepared for them. The plan was to hurt L<strong>is</strong>a until <strong>Flynn</strong> signed over assets, then<br />

kill the couple, <strong>Flynn</strong> said.<br />

"They had electric batteries there, and all sorts of torture devices, and they had black plastic<br />

across all the windows," he said. "They had the chains all ready, and the buckets, to put us into<br />

the bottom of the ocean."

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